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Sean Sawyer has served as the Washburn & Susan Oberwager President of The Olana Partnership since May 2015. The Olana Partnership works cooperatively with New York State to support the restoration and interpretation of Olana State Historic Site with a shared vision of a fully restored Olana as the most widely recognized artist’s home and studio in the world. Sean currently serves on the New York State Council on the Arts Architecture and Design Advisory Panel, the Historic House Committee of the American Association for State and Local History, and the Board of Directors of The American Friends of Attingham.
Prior to this, Sean was the Executive Director of The Royal Oak Foundation, the American partner of the National Trust of England, Wales and Northern Ireland. He began his career as Executive Director of the Wyckoff House & Association, focused on the operation of the Wyckoff Farmhouse Museum in East Flatbush, Brooklyn. He developed innovative engagement and outreach programs, including a youth jobs training program around the site’s organic market garden. Under his leadership, Wyckoff was recognized by the National Park Service as a national model for civic engagement at historic sites.
Born and raised in Vermont’s Northeast Kingdom, Sawyer received a B.A. summa cum laude in Art History & Archaeology from Princeton University in 1988 and his Ph.D. in Architectural History from Columbia University in 1999.